Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Buy a rainforest: Coase in action again?

This time Brazil has decided to accept payments to slow down the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.

Is this a case of the sufferers banding together to pay the polluter (Brazil) to cease felling trees and thus prevent a degree of global warming? More generally it seems to be a way of ensuring that Brazil receives some of the benefit of having rainforest on its land. Much of this benefit is received by individuals in other countries (reduced global warming, ecological services, passive use values) so environmental economists have proposed schemes to transfer these benefits to host nations for some time.

Click on the article for the full story.

Brazil Proposes Fund to Protect Amazon

BRASILIA, Brazil - Brazil, home to the world's largest rainforest, will ask rich nations to back a plan to help it slow deforestation at global climate talks this week, a senior environmental official said.

The plan marks a first step toward including deforestation in global climate agreements to cut emissions of carbon, a heat-trapping gas released by burning fossil fuels and trees that is partly to blame for rising world temperatures.

Officials from dozens of nations were to meet in Kenya starting Monday for the 12th round of UN global climate talks since 1992. The goal is to start crafting an extension to the Kyoto Protocol, a 1999 treaty that set mandatory targets for most rich nations to reduce carbon emissions.

The Brazilian secretary of forests and biodiversity, Joao Paulo Capobianco, said Brazil will present a plan for rich nations to put money into a fund that developing countries can tap after they prove they have slowed initial deforestation rates.

"A country will only have the right to claim resources after the environmental benefit is delivered," he said in an interview.

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